Netflix Film Tackles Period Taboo in India

"Period. End of Sentence." Sheds Light On India's Menstruation Stigma - And How To End It

The Oscar-winning film tells the story of women in one Indian village.

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The most unexpected part of this year's Academy Awards did not come when "The Green Book" won best picture. Nor did it occur when Glenn Close got snubbed for best actress (for the fourth time).

Indeed, the most unexpected Oscars moment came when "Period. End of Sentence.," a film about menstruation, won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

The documentary, directed by Rayka Zehtabchi and featured on Netflix, exposes the lack of knowledge surrounding menstruation in an Indian village and one group's crusade to produce and sell pads, an elusive item in this area.

Set in the Hapur District, a village about 37 miles outside of New Delhi, the film opens on a series of interviews in which Indian women and men are asked how much they know about periods. Most of the girls are embarrassed to talk about it, shrugging their shoulders and trying not to laugh. When asked why periods occur, one older woman states that "only God knows." The men seem to think that periods are a kind of illness.

These short clips, collected from just a few of the one billion people living in India, illustrate the ever-present taboo that is menstruation in rural India. It keeps women from pursuing higher education, worshipping in temples, and achieving the same status as men. These archaic attitudes towards periods help explain why women are still treated as second-class citizens in some parts of India, even as their counterparts elsewhere become presidents and CEOs and, in this case, Oscar winners.

But a group of women in the Hapur District are trying to end the period stigma. With the support of The Pad Project, an organization that funds the installation of "pad machines" in underprivileged areas worldwide, these women have created a business around manufacturing affordable, quality pads and selling them to local women who need them most.

According to the documentary, this group, led by a fiercely independent young woman named Sneba, goes door-to-door and shop-to-shop selling the pads, which they've named "Fly." In places where taboos make it difficult for women to buy sanitary napkins, the pads help destigmatize menstruation and give female workers financial independence.

In covering this group of women and their quest for menstrual equality, "Period. End of Sentence." proves that having access to safe, affordable sanitary napkins transcends the physical benefits, showing women that they can be more -- they can stay in school, work the same jobs as men, and finally understand their worth. To those of us who don't have to stop our lives when our periods come, who can rely on an endless supply of sanitary napkins and not feel shameful for buying them, it seems strange that a pad could hold so much power. And yet, one small pad machine in the Hapur District has changed countless lives.

To donate to The Pad Project, visit https://donorbox.org/the-pad-project.

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13 Life Moments And The Song That Best Depicts Each One

What happens when I press shuffle?

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Everyone has a song that they could connect to a specific point in life. When they hear that song, sometimes they can think back to an aspect of their life because that song was a trigger to that memory, whether it was good or bad. When thinking about this, I wondered for a bit about some songs that I have listened to as time went on. Then I thought, "what if I just randomly shuffled my saved songs on my Spotify account and see if it can connect to a random memory of my life that I put down."

So, I wrote down some general memories that either many people can connect to, and some that can connect to me, and then pulled out my phone and opened the Spotify app. From there, I shuffled my saved songs.

Here are the results.

1. My first day of school

"Perfect" by One Direction. As I look back, was my first day of school perfect as the rest of the year was tiring?

2. Meeting my little sibling

"Strange Love" by Halsey. I mean, I wouldn't call it strange because it's my little brother.

3. My first relationship

"LA Devotee" by Panic! At the Disco. I've never had a relationship, though.

4. My first kiss

"Ghost" by Halsey. Also like the first answer, never had my first kiss.

5. My first breakup

"Emperor's New Clothes" by Panic! At the Disco. I mean, when it happens it can be a song of like "Yo, what's up? I'm up in this business no one can stop me!"

6. Graduating high school

"Waste the Night" by 5 Seconds of Summer. If you count wasting the night waiting for the food we ordered at the restaurant after the graduation ceremony.

7. Getting into college

"You'll Be Back" from "Hamilton". I did tour Bowling Green State University before I applied and I did know that I will be back and here I am today.

8. My first job

"Hurricane" by Halsey. Okay, did my saved Spotify songs like Halsey today? (Boy with Luv featuring her did come out a while ago...) But the first job I had was literally two weeks at a chocolate store during Easter season.

9. My first best friend

"New Year's Day" by Taylor Swift. It's funny because the two Taylor Swift concerts I went to were with her and her sister (my second best friend). I don't talk to them a lot now...

10. My first broken bone

"High Hopes" by Panic! At the Disco. I have nothing for that...

11. My first high school football game doing marching band

"Outro: Wings" by BTS. Okay, our mascot was the Eagles.

12. My first college football game doing marching band

"Colors" by Loona. Go orange and brown.

13. My first Odyssey article

"Stressed Out" by Twenty-One Pilots. I don't remember much of my first article, but it got me to where I am today.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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